Tumblr’s Golden Age is Over

Every popular website has its golden age. The golden age of Tumblr has ended. I saw today that pornographic Tumblrs now require an account to access. Anonymous perverts like me are now locked out. (Yes. I could sign up for an account. I won’t.)

Frankly I am surprised it took so long. I was shocked that porn Tumblrs were permitted to display their wares without click-throughs or age verification. Forget Playgirls and video stores; Tumblr unleashed a mountain of porn that was scarcely accessible even a few years earlier. I was not able to decide whether this was the new normal or a temporary deluge before Tumblr opted to monetize its network effects. I guess we know the answer now.

It’s fine. Most porn is boring, and because I am a paranoid I archived a bunch of less-boring stuff on my computer. (Don’t you judge me. Are your hard drives pristine?) If there is one thing I have learned about the Internet it is that everything you like is ephemeral, and your chances of (a) refinding obscure content or (b) being able to access it if you have URLs bookmarked are much slimmer than you might expect.

I am sure that some other shiny social network will come along and offer even greater access to immodestly dressed people for a while. I think it is unlikely I will learn about it because I am a dinosaur. I only learned about Tumblr because a WordPress blogger once linked to the hot-men-50 Tumblr (bless you, Buddy Bear). As I age and further resist technology, I think my chances of discovering the latest treasure troves diminish further and further.

As far as I know, there are still other sites where one might find videos of immodestly-dressed people without logins (Xhamster and XTube both come to mind). These sites offer lots of exposed skin, but finding the skin I like is a different matter. Tumblr was bad for a lot of things, but one thing it did well was aggregating and concentrating porn that catered to particular perversions. I could start at a blog that did not match my tastes particularly closely, but on those occasions when I was really drawn to a picture or video, I could follow “reblogged from” links upstream to discover much richer sources. There was inevitably still a lot of boring nonsense to sort through (which is when the /archive url came in handy) but I am aware of no other site which made tracking down my perversions easier. After locating a handful of prolific posters whose sexual tastes were close to my own, I was set.

The fact that several of these prolific posters enjoyed large followings was a surprising bonus. I am a freak, but worldwide it seems that hundreds (or thousands?) of people are similarly freakish. In some weird way that made me feel less alone.